Football: Dyer boosts Barnsley

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JOHN HENDRIE'S appeared to be rapidly heading towards the end of his eight-month tenure as Barnsley's manager last night until the timely intervention of Bruce Dyer, whose early goal contributed to a 2-0 defeat of Bristol City.

The striker ensured that Hendrie's beleaguered Tykes recorded their first League win of 1999, ending a run of five defeats and six draws. It also meant that Benny Lennartsson's side remain rooted to the foot of the First Division. City, still to record a victory this year, are now without a win in 11 matches and have lost nine games and drawn three of their last 12 on their travels, a streak stretching back to 3 October.

Yet while Hendrie may have earned a temporary reprieve, Lennartsson's job is apparently safe, despite the club's perilous position, as he has just over a year left on his contract and City cannot afford to pay him off. With the Robins six points adrift of safety, and with another 27 points to be won, his side appear certain to be relegated.

Port Vale may be joining them in the Second Division after the club's lowest League attendance of the season witnessed the performance of a side in free-fall. Grimsby's victory by a single goal means that their hopes of gaining a place in the play-offs were suitably enhanced.

It was a first win in seven games for Alan Buckley's side, but Vale's woeful night will have provided little of comfort for their manager, Brian Horton.

In a game glaringly bereft of entertainment, Grimsby took until the 71st minute to open the scoring when Kevin Donovan sped past Paul Beesley to cross for Paul Groves, who slammed in a half-volley from 12 yards.

Aside from a tame header from Vale's Marcus Bent in the 38th minute, there were only grim portents for the home support among the crowd of 4,980. Allen Tankard had a late chance to rescue a point, but he squandered the opportunity by dragging his shot wide.

England have included identical twins in their squad for the World Youth Championships to be staged in Nigeria next month. West Bromwich Albion's 18-year-old defensive pair Adam and James Chambers have been named by the side's head coach, Chris Ramsey, in a party of 18. West Brom also have a third player in the squad, Adam Oliver, matching the input from Manchester United and Arsenal.